Louise Elizabeth Boyd Peartree
An Amazing and Unforgettable Woman
On Friday, September 15, 1911, Louise Elizabeth Boyd was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Unfortunately, 109 years later there are no records of her Parents’ names. Her mother died when she was 6 ½ years old and her father abandoned her that year on the steps of a store front. She was taken to the nearest police precinct. Her next stop was at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. She lived there for several months before being transferred to the Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia. At Einstein, they widen their search for her identity since no one knew her family’s last name. Einstein’s search through the South miraculously led to her grandfather. She was an only child. She was raised by her grandfather who was a former slave. Life wasn’t easy for Louise. She left school at an early age to go to work. Her first jobs were as a domestic worker. Her skills and manners were impeccable. At one time, she worked as the live-in head cook for the family of the Vice President of the Chemical Bank in New York City. There were four other domestics reporting to her. With this family, the Thompsons, she had the honor of accompanying them to the White House. Can you imagine the thrill of this trip? Few people have had the experience of witnessing the leadership of 20 presidents. She did. She felt great joy in witnessing the presidency of Barack Obama, our first African American President of the United States. To her, this was unbelievable. While most of us have read about many of the high points and the low points in our history, she lived them.
But---Her life really changed when she met the love of her life, Elbert Peartree in Belhaven, North Carolina. She had three daughters: Bettie, who preceded her in death, Earleen, and Lottie. Louise loved helping others. In Belhaven, she often nursed ill neighbors so their relatives could continue to work. She also had the reputation of being the best cook and baker in the whole town. She love the Lord and was a very active member in the St/Reddick Baptist Church. Elbert and Louise enjoyed their life together until his death on January 4, 1998.
After a number of years, her granddaughter, Liz, convinced her to move to Raleigh, North Carolina to live with her family. From Raleigh, she later moved to Philadelphia. At the age of 102, she joined Salem Baptist Church in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. At Salem, a very thoughtful member, Carlotta Cage helped enroll her into the Adult Citizens Program where she met many other seniors and enjoyed playing card games, dominos and watching movies. On Sunday mornings she always arrived in her best finery. She was always fashionable.
Until her death, Louise was the oldest living citizen in Montgomery County. Over the years many local TV stations and newspaper staff have questioned her concerning her longevity. She was quick to tell them, “I love the Lord. I never drank alcohol or coffee. I never smoked or kept late hours.”
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, God called Louise home after a job well done. She is survived by her loving daughters, Earleen Gauthney (Lin) and Lottie Jefferson of Pennsylvania. She also leaves: eleven grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren; thirty great-great grandchildren; ten great-great-great grandchildren; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends to cherish precious memories. Louise Peartree was beloved by the young and old as she readily gave advice, guidance, and encouragement. What a legacy. She will surely be missed.
The Family of Louise Elizabeth Boyd Peartree
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